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Officium Defunctorum, Op. 81, No. 2 (1603/2017)

For Choir and Four Instrumental Choirs

Recording:

Members of the NMRHS community and friends, Joe Clark, conductor

Duration: 5'30"

  1. II. Introitus: Requiem aeternam

Instrumentation:

  • Voices: SSATTB
  • Flute Choir:
  • Flutes 1-5
  • Alto Flute
  • Reed Choir:
  • Oboe
  • Alto Saxophone
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Baritone Saxophone
  • Bassoons 1-2
  • Clarinet Choir:
  • Bb Clarinets 1-5
  • Bass Clarinet
  • Brass Choir:
  • Bb Trumpets 1-2
  • Horn
  • Trombones 1-2
  • Tuba

Program Notes:

Tomás Luis de Victoria (ca. 1548-1611) may be thought of as the "Spanish Palestrina" - a rough contemporary in both dates and style. As a Counter-Reformation composer, like the more-discussed-in-undergraduate-music-history-courses Palestrina, Victoria was very concerned with setting text in a way that allowed it to be declaimed and perceived clearly. Despite the tightly-worked polyphonic texture, cadences tend to coincide with the introduction of new text, and a simple clarity in treatment of dissonance pervades the work.

The addition of instrumental choirs to the work was intended to bring out the entrance of new text, as well as to enhance the sonority of the piece for the performance space. Each choir is to be stationed in a separate space around the hall, evoking the instrumental music of Gabrieli.

This arrangement was premiered on August 5, 2017 at the Seventh Annual Summer Chamber Music Recital, St. John the Evangelist, Townsend, MA.